New Ownership, New Management, and a LEAP into E-Novellas
August 1, 2014
Established by Laurie Edwards in 2009, Leap Books LLC has earned its place in the world of small publishing with nods from the Green Earth Books Award program, the Young Adult Library Services Association Popular Paperbacks program, and have received recommended reading status from authoritative review sources, such as, Kirkus Reviews, the Midwest Book Review, and CM Magazine.
But less than a month ago Edwards turned the reins over to longtime Leap author Judith Graves and St. Martin's Press author Shannon Delany. Delany became owner and publisher with Graves taking the role of co-publisher. The third piece needed to appropriately puzzle together their management team was author Jennifer Murgia. Three popular young adult authors with diverse origins in the industry came together to breathe new life into Leap and gather a capable team of authors, editors, illustrators, and marketing assistants beneath them.
"From the very beginning Leap has been about taking chances...taking leaps of faith..." Graves says, "I'm hopeful we'll retain the original crew of Leap authors and, now that we have a full management team - spring into action!"
Not only will the new and larger management team be able to focus on their particular strengths, but with the addition of the SHINE e-novella line initiated and overseen by Graves, Leap is re-examining the importance of digital publishing for small presses.
Graves points out an important benefit of e-books and e-novellas, "From a publishing point of view there are less costs involved in the initial launch of a title, which means we have more resources available for great cover design, snappy layouts, and extensive publicity."
"Laurie Edwards gave Leap a lot of love and built a great foundation for us," Delany says, "and with the things we'll be doing, especially in the case of SHINE, we can build a strong house on that foundation."
Shine has acquired some very promising stories already, including two-time RITA Young adult Finalist Tina Ferraro’s HALF-LIFE following Trisha in the days before her 15th birthday, as her long deceased identical twin appears in mirrors to help prevent her similarly early demise and Laura Lascarso's series about a pair of star-crossed lovers in her modern-day Romeo & Juliet set in the world of competitive car racing.
"SHINE is not the only Leap line to be seeing worthwhile submissions," Delany says. "We regularly field queries from agents for our YA/NA novel-length line SURGE and the middle grade line, too. With strong stories, great
covers, and the attention of Jen Murgia's marketing team, I see great things ahead for Leap."
Murgia, who will lead the promotion and marketing campaigns for Leap authors, says she's "excited to relaunch such a fabulous backlist of titles and is looking forward to the new list." No stranger to choreographing large scale book events (YAFest.org), Murgia and her team plan to reach outlets that will give Leap titles the recognition and attention they deserve.
"That's why you need experienced authors leading publishing houses--we know what our fellow authors and their books--their babies--need. And we're most likely to do our best to provide that."
Have a killer story you want to submit? Leap generally only takes agented queries except (currently) for its SHINE e-novella line and, in October, it will open its doors briefly to all unagented works. Go HERE for submission details.
For now Delany suggests readers and writers alike leap into the contest running until August 8th at http://leapbks.blogspot.ca/ and says if you're serious about writing for a publisher, first give a few of their books a read.